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Elder Abuse Defined By State Lawmakers

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- A scaled-back bill defining elder abuse for the first time in Iowa has been approved by the Senate and House.

Both chambers gave unanimous support for the measure Tuesday after it came through a conference committee. It now goes to Gov. Terry Branstad.

The bill provides a definition of elder abuse, identifies the elder population as anyone aged 60 or older, and creates a process for elders to obtain protective orders in instances of abuse.

The legislation strips language that would have made the financial exploitation of elders a crime.

Sen. Mary Jo Wilhelm, a Cresco Democrat, says the bill is an important first step. She hopes next year's Legislature will return to the issue and further address it.

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